Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Friday, December 22, 2006

Exquisite children's book illustrations

I found these wonderful illustrations for Beauty and the Beast the other day on the web - they are so very lyrical

Instant costume for non-descript Arthurian type personnage

I just found this picture of myself looking slightly out of it (whatever it is) that was taken before I went to a costume party with a "come as a famous author or character from a book" theme last summer.
I scrounged and scrounged around and couldn't find anything I thought acceptable, or that even fit well, since I'd gained so much weight in the past year (thanks to sleep apnea and just plain over-eating and no exercise). So when anyone asked me what character I was I said either Morgana from the Arthurian literature, or an obscure angst-ridden ghost from one of those gothic novels with a made-up name like "Guilthaven Manor" by a fictitious author like Sir Sheldon Deveint, Victorian novelist and naturalist.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Of Sorcerers and Men

I just picked up Susanna Clarke's newest book to read: The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories - I love, love, love the way she writes!

I have been listening to one of Barnes and Nobles' Portable Professor series called "Of Sorcerers and Men - Tolkein and the Roots of Modern Fantasy Literature" by a professor named Michael Drout and I am thoroughly enjoying the entire 7 CD disk series. I love listening to Audio CDs while I'm working or crafting or sewing or whatever. I also like his distinction between Magical Realism and Modern Fantasy - all this time I was struggling to write a fantasy novel, when really, my writings fall closer to the Magical Realism genre.

Thanks everyone for your kind thoughts and words about Caspian - I miss him greatly, but every day gets a little easier for me. Today I'm supposed to go pick up his ashes (I had him cremated), but don't know if I've the heart to do so quite yet.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Caspian is gone

Caspian didn't make it through the night. He made it through surgery, woke up for a while then went into cardiac failure and died. I hurt so bad.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Caspian - the new Peg Leg Pete

Caspian's surgery has been set for Monday. It looks like the tumors are too big to debulk, so he will have to have his leg taken off. I have been at loggerheads with myself over this for months - I know that cats do quite well on three legs, but I was so very unsettled about his having to go through such an ordeal. At least we were able to preserve it for 10 months after diagnosis, and I do believe we tried to do everything humanly possible to save that leg.
He had stopped eating a few days ago, probably due to the pain of the tumors, and the vet was happy to give him an anti-inflammatory that helped to alleviate his misery. His appetite has returned and he is still hobbling around and following me for walks out in the cold weather. He is such a beloved little man in a fur suit!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

This is how I feel after two nights of not being able to get to sleep! I've been very worried about a dear friend who was admitted to the hosiptal the other day after having two seizures out of the blue AND my poor kitty Caspian who has massive tumors on one leg and may have to have his leg amputated...

I do hope it is darkest before the dawn, becuase right now, my world is incredibly dark.

Monday, December 04, 2006


I love how the frost tinges just the edges of this leaf.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Mermaid backgammon set

Today my mermaid backgammon set arrived from Bali! It is gorgeous! It had been sitting in a Federal Express warehouse for a few days since they couldn't get through all the snow and ice to deliver it until today. I'm working on the Jacobean jacket today and it is slow going; I'm now on my third muslin...

Friday, December 01, 2006

Paper sculpture workshop

About a year or so ago I took a class with Dave Wood, an Australian calligrapher. His class dealt with combining paper sculpture with calligraphy; here is the capital "A" that I made during the class.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Let it Snow!

It's snowing! It never snows here in November so this is a first! I love snow!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Jacobean delights

Over the weekend Marcus and I went fabric shopping at Goodwill for an upcoming theatre show, and I found a sumptuous 3 yard piece of Jacobean-looking brocade/tapestry. The only caveat being that the palette was a sort of lime-ish green and orange. But still, I was inspired to create a version of Dawn Anderson's Jacobean Jacket . More on that later.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Gloves Galore

So I am embarking upon making some pairs of gloves from Vogue pattern 7949 to give away as Christmas presents. I have tons of scraps of stretch velvet from other projects that I can use...thinking of having a "Gloves Craft Day" this weekend for some like-minded friends.
Years ago my friend Jon and I would periodically declare "Today is a craft day!" and we would then devote the day to making some sort of crafty item. Once it was fake stained glass pieces - the fumes gave us both headaches. Another time we made faux millifiori from fimo and covered small jars with it.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Santa and Spock's Mom

I know how badly I've neglected this poor blog - I've been feeling as if I have nothing to add to the world for the past few months, partly because I had to move house recently which was a royal pain in the ass. And my cat is not doing well healthwise. And a hundred other things that have bogged me down into a state of non-creativity.
So some part of me jumped at the chance to create a Santa costume for a co-worker just to take my mind off the unpleasantries, and here is the result. I had several yards of a lovely dark red silk velvet which I had been lugging from house to house for too many years, so I decided to use it for dear old Santa. I used Simplicity pattern 4393.

A few days ago I was invited to a medieval Halloween party and I pondered making a proper medieval garb. I threw that idea out after rummaging around and finding a purple velvet gown that was close enough to medieval looking if I put a short cape over it. So I felt obliged to make some sort of semi-medieval looking headdress and came up with a set of crespinettes, those cylinders worn at the sides of the face. They were fairly easy to construct - a headband of buckram covered with liquid silver fabric from the costume cave, with additional silver mesh wrapped around the cylinders. The whole thing was hot glued together and some fake gem cabochons were glued onto the headband and cylinders and voila! Instant set of crespinettes!

Sadly, that party turned out to be quite dull, so my friend and I made a quick exit stage left and ran off to another more rollicking party where I was told repeatedly that I looked like Amanda, Spock's mom.

I found the pattern and idea for the crespinettes at

Monday, June 12, 2006

I am a total geek

So I took the geek test at Inner Geek and:

i am a total geek
yep, I scored 33.72781% - Total Geek

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Keeping Mum

Today I was thinking about designing a garden called "Bodies in the Garden" where two types of ground cover are used; the background is a lighter colored groundcover and there are darker patches in the shapes of bodies scattered around as if bodies buried in the garden caused the plants to grow a slightly richer green color -- I got the idea from digging around in the corner of my backyard where the soil is absolute crap. I kept thinking to myself "What would I do if I found a skull in the crappy soil?It's the perfect place to bury a body: crappy, rocky, sandy soil, who the hell would try to plant a real garden back here?" So if I did find a body, would I call 911 first? Or would I try to blackmail the landlord into giving me the house and land in return for keeping mum about what is obviously that mother of his whom he claims lives back east somewhere? (Great title for the story "Keeping Mum.") When I told my friend Linda about this possible storyline she said "Oh, get real, you'd just end up out there with his mom, buried in all that crappy soil..."

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Budding authors abound

Here's the group of budding authors who gave readings at the University Bookstore close to UW last Wednesday evening... all of us relieved that the evening went extremely well. In my case, the audience laughed where I had hoped they would laugh during the chapter I read. Surprisingly, the audience stayed to the last reading!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Not quite ready for public consumption...

So tomorrow night I have to give reading of my novel-in-progress at the University Bookstore. Well, I'm not even close to being ready to do so - the story is still such a mish mash of ideas that don't make any cohesive sense yet. I am just biding my time in my current writing class - only two more classes to go and then maybe I'll have the time to get back to writing. I had taken the Popular Fiction certificate program at the U-dub to learn more about how one goes about writing a novel and the first year served me well, but the second year has been a waste of time - except for the social aspect of meeting so many other budding novelists in class, most of whom I admire.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Mad Hatters' Hats

Speaking of strange hats, I found this pattern on Lynn McMaster's website and had to get it pronto. I am mad for anything vaguely Regency and love love love Mad Hatter Hats. The picture on the pattern shows a lovely one made of Milan straw; I'm not sure I have the patience for winding all that straw in a circle then sewing it down...think I'll make mine of dupioni silk from the costume cave.
I have about 10 yards of a freaky-cool purple and green leopard spotted silk velvet I got from a guy in Pakistan and I have it in my mind to create a pelisse-coat with a Napoleon collar from this wondrous fabric; what event I'd wear it to, I've no idea.

I am the Eggman, We are the Eggmen...I am the Walrus

I often come across many designer patterns whilst rummaging through second hand stores and was instantly enamored of this pattern cover of a Vogue Couturier Design by Fabiani. The dress looks delightful enough, but the hat gives new meaning to the term egghead. What was Fabby thinking? Or was he? The model looks a trifle confused by it all. I turned the pattern over to find the following comments:
ALBERTO FABIANI (Fah-bee-ahny) - Italy's master tailor, creates wonderfully
flattering suits, distinguished coats and exquisite evening gowns...can
claim many fashion firsts.
Well no wonder! It's a fashion first! It's also a fashion last. My brain is starting to hurt! Maybe I need a big brain wave neutralizer helmet! Say....didn't I see one on a Fabiani pattern somewhere? Hmmmm....

Thursday, May 18, 2006

30's Coat

Here are some preliminary snaps of that 30's Parisienne coat from Decades of Style.
The collar looks great here ( it's the stretch velvet one; I haven't had time to sew in the new Persian lamb velvet one) but it looks droopy when worn. I like how the strange little pintucks in the sleeves came out; they cause the sleeves to bell out in a very pretty way. I'll fix the collar and take some snaps of my friend JoAnn wearing it...

Waylaid by Marcus

Well, I have been freaky crazy busy this past week at work and have had little time to do anything.
The other night my friend Marcus showed up with a costume in need of fixing:
He had washed his wool sweater dress and it had shrunk (Doh!) So could I help him fix it? I suggested adding faux fur trim to the hemline and sleeves, or leopard velvet or a boa, but he wasn't convinced so I dragged him over to JoAnn Fabrics and picked out a lovely flowery rayon for a flounce and sleeves.

Doesn't he look fantabulous? It's for a character he portrays who is (I believe) an elderly Chanteuse who sings risque songs. Marcus is an incredible singer and needs to get famous for it soon!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Decades of Time 1931 Parisienne Coat

So a few weeks ago I thought I would embark upon making this little number out of stretch velvet:

I mean, come on, if stretch velvet like we have today had been around in the 30's, everyone would have been using it! So I bought several yeards of the yummiest gold and black stretch velvet and made a size 22 coat, pictures to come as soon as I replace the battery in my digital camera.

The size 22 was a tad bit wide bodied for my taste nad a little short. Also, I should have made the collar out of something heavier than black stretch velvet since it sort of flops around, drooping instead of draping nicely.

I found a yard and a half of that persian lamb black velvet at JoAnn's last weekend and since I had a 50 percent off coupon...halleluyah! Hopefully there's enough for the second coat I am going to make - I'm giving the first one to a friend - gold is not one of my colors...

Friday, May 05, 2006

MCD - symptom of or solution to stress?

Driving in to work this morning, I came to the conclusion I have Multiple Creativity Disorder, which is somewhat akin to Multiple Personality Disorder, in that I have a slew of different arts that I switch back and forth from: Sewing, Calligraphy, Watercolor, Marbling, Knitting, Macrame, Jewelry Making, and Writing.